A wishful look ahead
You may think it’s too late for New Year’s resolutions, given that it’s already mid-February. But, the truth is, it’s never a bad time for some wishful thinking about the future, however near or far ahead you’re thinking.
Particularly on days where I lack motivation, inspiration and positivity (hey, it happens to all of us), thinking positively of all that I’d like to achieve in the coming weeks and months helps keep me looking forward to all that’s to come, and gives me the strength to change my mood and make the most of my day. This wishlist is both academic and personal, just as my aspirations are.
Here is my wishful portrait of the coming months, and what keeps me looking forward everyday:
- Get lots of sunshine, even on days where I have loads of work to do indoors.
- Have more patience – with others and with myself.
- Move way ahead in my (perhaps over-ambitious) PhD projects, in a way that impresses even me.
- Dive into challenges more readily, rather than needing to slowly test the waters first.
- Make the most of the three months I will spend in Italy collecting data from native-speakers for my PhD research this spring. I hope to be productive, healthy and happy there, although I will be away from my normal rhythm and my family, and collaborating with new colleagues in a foreign environment.
- Present my research at two big conferences in my field – one in Singapore in June, and one in the Netherlands in August.
- Write the papers for each sub-experiment of my thesis in parallel while I collect data and present at conferences, so that I may submit at least two papers at the end of 2013.
- Continue cherishing the simple things about life in our city and our little apartment.
- Laugh more, worry less.
- Only let the most critical things bother me, and shrug useless irritations away.
- Spend time with grandmothers and nephews, who both need to see me more often.
- Wake up with positivity and go to bed at peace, most days of the year.
- Make the most of most days.
- Read for pleasure, search for beauty, travel, cook, sleep and play – in short, keep the work-life balance I worked so hard to achieve during 2012.
- Start a new creative project of learning about food photography.
- Try out at least 20 new soup recipes during the year, because making soup often requires patience and time, two things I never seem to have enough of.
- Learn more about photography so I can deserve upgrading my camera soon!
- Write more often (my thesis, papers for publication and creative writing).
- Continue helping others, giving to others, without expecting reciprocation.
- Trust others and let go of whatever cynicism has crept into my thoughts over the last couple of (difficult) years.
- Rush less, enjoy more
- Celebrate life, health, friends and successes, always making sure to be grateful for what I have.
Thinking of all that I wish to achieve and create this year keeps pushing me forward with anticipation and motivation. It’s really important to me to pay attention to these goals and wishes, and to make a conscious effort to achieve them.
What’s on your list?